Daily Archives: August 26, 2008

The wilderness – Zin and Paran

Yesterday we drove from Beersheba to Eilat. The whole region is inhospitable and uninviting. Here is a photo of a section of the Wadi Zin. The wadi is dry now, but when there is rain it will become a river in the desert.

Wadi Zin. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Wadi Zin. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In Wadi Zin there are some small springs and a cool water pool. We did not take time to hike to the pool, but stopped by a small spring to watch the Ibex. Here is a young Ibex drinking water that reminds me of Psalm 42:1.

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

A young Ibex in Wadi Zin. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A young Ibex in Wadi Zin. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

When the time came for Moses to die, the Lord told him that he would not be allowed to enter the promised land,

because you broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel. (Deuteronomy 32:51)

Today we visited the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve, located about 20 miles north of Eilat in the Arabah. I made photos of many of the animals in the reserve.

A Somalia Wild Donkey at the Yotvata Hai-Bar Reserve. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A Somalia Wild Donkey at the Yotvata Hai-Bar Reserve. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Ishmael is described in these terms:

He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” (Genesis 16:12)

Sometimes the LORD used simple facts to illustrate His wisdom. He asked Job,

“Who has let the wild donkey go free? Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey, (Job 39:5)

We are located less than a mile from the border with Jordan. In the afternoon we drove down to the Taba border crossing with Egypt. We also saw some of the beautiful coral and colorful fishes in the Red Sea.

The temperature today was 45 degrees celcius. Go figure! (For those of you who are metrically challenged, that is 113 degrees farenheit. It was really hot. We were expecting it to be 105!)

Traveling south

Monday we left Jerusalem and drove to Beersheba. I was able to get some great photos of agricultural practices in the hill country of Judea. The Negev (southland in some English versions) begins at Beersheba. It is an area plagued by lack of water, always dependent on the amount of rain it receives in the winter months. (I am speaking primarily of biblical times, but even with irrigation the area is still fairly barren.). The account of Hagar and Ishmael is illustrative of the conditions in the area (Genesis 21:8-21)

We stopped at Tel Be’er Sheva. The Genesis account says,

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. (Genesis 21:33).

There is a nice observation tower on the mound that allows one to get a view of the complete excavated area. The photo also shows the terrain. The highway in the distance is the main highway from Beersheva to Eilat.

View of Excavation at Tel Be'er Sheva. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

View of Excavation at Tel Beersheva

We saw so much yesterday that it would take me hours to write a summary. We stopped at Wadi Zin and the Wilderness of Zin where the Israelites wandered. See Numbers 13:21 and 20:1. Since I am not too fond of Manna, I think a few days would be enough for me! By 8 p.m. we arrived at Eilat.

Sunday we visited with some Christian friends who live north of Tel Aviv. Ken and Vickie Boyd are here for two years in connection with Ken’s job. We met with them for worship. Vickie prepared a wonderful lunch that was far superior to the hotel buffets we had been eating. The Boyd’s were students of mine in the ancient days. We wish them well in their time in Israel.

Jessica, Savanah, Vickie, Ken, Heather

Jessica, Savanah, Vickie, Ken, Heather

In the afternoon we stopped at Aphek for a few photos. In New Testament times this was known as Antipatris. More later, perhaps. We also went to Gezer, but were to late to do a complete visit or to get good photos.