27 March, 2013

Shephelah: Round Two

We got to go back to the Shephelah region!! To see our first adventure to this part of the country, visit Shephelah: Round One

We started off the field study at Tel Gezer, the remains of the city of Gezer in antiquity. It's mentioned 14 times in the Old Testament. It acts as a guard to the Aijalon Valley, one of the five valleys in the Shephelah.

There were some Canaanite stone pillars here, which were probably used in the high place of the Canaanite gods. 

Bill sent Justin to model the ruins for us haha

I'm STILL amazed at how green Israel is in the spring. I looove roaming around the green fields

Group photo on top of Tel Gezer :)

Bryant found the skeleton of a reptile friend haha

Now we began our lil journey to Tel Gath! 

Climbing up to the top

So the significance of Gath is that it's the city Goliath was from. This place makes an appearance in Psalms 34 and 56. When David was running from Saul, he ends up in Gath (Philistine territory) and is afraid. So afraid that he pretended to be insane before the Philistine king, Abimelech, so that he wouldn't be captured. This whole deal is recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. We memorized all of Psalm 34 which made this sight that much more important to us. Here's a good lil part of it.

Psalm 34:1-8,18
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

Bryant, Jaden, and Daniel chillin in Goliath's "breakfast bowl"... hahaha 

The five Philistine cities: Gath, Gezer, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Gaza

Then the guys decided to hold themselves up on the pole.. crazy!

Look at Bill!!

We left Gath and made it to Socoh. The Philistines were encamped by this city (between Socoh and Azekah) when Goliath went to fight David in the Elah Valley. We had lunch here in the purple flower field of glory!! These lupinus/turmus flowers only bloom this time of year.

Then Sarah found a lil turtley friend!! 

Last stop of the day: Adullum. This shot is overlooking the place where the nation of Israel was born.

The fields of Adullam. Again.. I love Israel in the spring.

Starting our hike to the top where the caves are

View from the top!

We got to explore the caves of Adullam. Why are these caves cool?! I'll tell you!! It is pretty darn likely that David himself hid in these very caves. Read more about this in 1 Samuel 22.. it records David's escape from Gath to Adullam.

Then we began our descent back down to the bus 

Annnd we made it back to the moshav.. and got this picture of glory :) Becky made a shirt in the Old city and wore it to our Shephelah trip. tooooo good