Daily Archives: August 29, 2008

En Gedi and the Jordan Valley

The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. We left our hotel on the south end of the Dead Sea this morning and headed north to En Gedi. We arrived a few minutes before the park opened, so this provided an opportunity to go down to the En Gedi beach on the Dead Sea to make some photographs of encrustations of salt on the rocks at the edge of the water.

En Gedi is a wonderful nature preserve. The name means “spring of the young goat” or “kid”. We saw lots of Ibex and a few Rock Badgers. The real reason for wanting to go to En Gedi is that it is associated with David. The spelling in many English versions is Engedi or En-gedi

David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of Engedi.  (1 Samuel 23:29)

Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” (1 Samuel 24:1)

In 1 Samuel 24 we have the record of both David and Saul being in one of the caves of the area. I suggest you read the entire chapter.

There are a series of four perennial waterfalls in an otherwise barren area.  I hiked all the way to the third and highest one. Elizabeth went as far as the first one. She mentioned that she had gone to the third waterfall with some of our friends forty years ago. Here is the photo I made today.

David's Waterfall at En Gedi. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

David's waterfall at En Gedi. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Rock badgers (coneys) are mentioned in Proverbs 30:26:

the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; (ESV)

We passed by Qumran since we had just visited there in April. Driving a car allowed me to stop in several places that would have been impossible for a tour bus. We had great views of the Jordan Valley and the Transjordan area of Roman Perea.

I wanted to visit Tel Rehov because of the discovery of the bee hives that have been discovered. Nor surprisingly, the bee hives were covered up. This excavation is under the direction of Professor Amihai Mazar. You will find information and some good photo at the Tel Rehov website.

This morning we left the shores of the Dead Sea. Tonight we are literally on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, I estimate that our room is no more than 30 to 40 feet from the west shore of the Sea.

It was hot everywhere today, but especially in the Jordan Valley. The car showed 42 degrees celsius.