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

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Mt. Gerizim site

After leaving the ruins of Shechem, we drove up to Mt. Gerizim Archeological Park.

These are the ruins of Luz or Luza, an ancient Samaritan village.  According to the Samaritan Torah (Pentateuch), Luza is Beth-El where Jacob dreams of a ladder and where he was named Israel.  Most scholars locate Beth-El near Ramallah, close to the modern city of  Beit-El.

Overlooking modern day Nablus, where the ancient city of Shechem was located.

The red domed building is the church we had visited (prior post).

This villa was built by a wealthy billionaire from Nablus.

We walked down the hill into the town of Kiryat Luza, the last wholly Samaritan village.  There are approximately 750 Samaritans left in the world.

We stopped for a restroom break.  Our bus driver and a villager taking a smoke.

We then walked next door to a Samaritan museum.  We couldn't believe our eyes.

A watch dog watches our every move.

At the museum, this Samaritan priest spoke to us about their faith.  They believe only in the first 5 books of the Old Testament.

He got a call from his wife.  ("Be sure to bring home some bread, milk...?)

He explained their genealogy.  They are descendants of Aaron.

He told their history (Joshua 8)

They still practice sacrifice to this day

at this location just down the street.

Unfortunately they do not know the High  Priest, Jesus Christ who "is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.  Such a high priest meets our need - One who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.  Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people.  He sacrificed their sins ONCE FOR ALL when He offered Himself."  Hebrews 7:25-27

Friday, May 3, 2013

Jacob's Well

Jacob's Well (also known as the well of Sychar) is a deep well, hewn of solid rock that has been associated in religious tradition with Jacob. It is situated a short distance from the archaeological site of  the biblical town of Shechem, where we had just visited.

Jacob bought a plot of land from Hanor for "a hundred pieces of silver" (Genesis 33:19), on which he pitched his tent and dug a deep well for himself, his children and his flocks.  Since that time, the well has been known as Jacob's well. Tradition states that it was at this well that Jesus met the Samaritan woman and asked her for water to drink.

The well currently lies within the complex of an Eastern Orthodox monastery.

Jim and Yustinio.   In a country hostile to Christians, he has been stabbed 15 times for his faith.

Jim told us that this priest has done every stain glass work, mosaic, painting and carving in this church.

A water pot from the 1st century

This is Jacob's well.  Of course it would not have looked like this back in Biblical times.  I don't understand the desire of some to "enshrine" these things.

 The well is 180 feet deep.

The prettiest entrance I've ever seen to a W.C.! (for those who don't know what that is - it is a water closet, in other words, a toilet)

In the earlier post, I showed the pictures of these 2 mountains - Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim.  Samaritans were considered a corruption of true Judaism not only because of their mixed bloodline (inter-marriage between the Jewish population and the Assyrians) but because their place of worship was on Mt. Gerizim rather than Jerusalem's temple.  

"A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."  John 4:23-24

"But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life."  John 4:14

"The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us."  Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."  John 4:25-26

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Shechem, Jacob's well

As we left the ancient town of Samaria, the bus maneuvered through such narrow streets.  Can you see the wall right next to the bus?  Literally inches away!!  Our bus driver was incredible!!


Taking pictures out of a moving bus is not the best, but I just had to capture the life of this land!

Beef - do you see the cattle head at the end of this row?  I know, pretty gross!!

I wonder if this cow knows he has just a few moments left?  This is what I call fresh beef!

Our bus stopped here on this narrow street and we got out to see the ruins of ancient Shechem.  Shechem first appears in the Bible in Genesis 12.  It is the place where God first repeated his promises to Abraham when he arrived in Canaan.  

On one side of Shechem is Mt. Gerizim, where there are abundantly cultivated olive and fig trees.

Mt. Ebal is on the other side.  The higher portions of Mt. Ebal are barren rock - the name means "bald stone" and only thistles and shrubs grow there.

When Joshua led the 12 tribes across the Jordan river and conquered that part of the Promised Land, 6 tribes went on the slopes of Mt. Ebal and 6 on Mt. Gerizim.  The tribes on Mt. Ebal listened to God's curses for disobedience and on Mt. Gerizim, the tribes listened to God's blessings for obedience.  In the hearing of all the people, Joshua and the Levites read the whole book of the Covenant and the people responded with their vows (Deut. 27:14)

Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal

Old walls of Shechem.
"And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the LORD."  Joshua 24:26  They say that this is that very rock!  Of course I had to touch it!
Later in history, the sons of Jacob avenged their sister's rape by massacring the city's inhabitants.