Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ein Gedi and Qumran

On the western shore of the Dead Sea, about 10 miles north of Masada, Ein Gedi is a hidden oasis of water and caves which offers the region's only year-round waterfall.

Ein Gedi has always been a fruitful area - Song of Solomon 1:14.  The ibex and Biblical coney (rock badger) are found here.  Wish we would have seen some, but I think there were too many people around.

 There were a lot of families there having lots of fun.

We went on a climb back to the place where David and his men hid.

It was here among the caves and crevices that young David took refuge from King Saul.  He boldly cut off the fringe of Saul's garment, to prove that he was close enough to the king to kill him.  
"The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, or lift my hand against him."  1 Sam. 24:6

Fresh water springs

-with our "buddies"-
Each of us had to have 2 others to be buddies with to make sure they were always on the bus before we took off for the next destination.  Our buddies were Chris and Jan and Bill and Louise.  They are from Dayton, Ohio although Jan is originally from Wichita and we have some connections with friends. 
 It was at Ein Gedi that David wrote Psalm 57:

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed.
 I cry out to God Most High,
    to God, who vindicates me.
 He sends from heaven and saves me,
    rebuking those who hotly pursue me—[c]
    God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
 I am in the midst of lions;
    I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
    whose tongues are sharp swords.
 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.
 They spread a net for my feet
    I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
    but they have fallen into it themselves.
 My heart, O God, is steadfast,
    my heart is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music.
 Awake, my soul!
    Awake, harp and lyre!
    I will awaken the dawn.
 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing of you among the peoples.
 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.

* * * * *

Our next stop was Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found.

972 scrolls have been discovered sine 1947.

The Bedouin who first discovered it dried out the leather and was going to have them cut up for straps for sandals!  He did not realize what treasure he had found!

At the end of these 2 treks, we were pretty hot and sweaty.  Next stop - a plunge in the Dead Sea!  (except one cannot plunge into it.  You can only float on top!)

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