Daily Archives: December 9, 2009

Traveling in the Great Rift

Today we traveled from the southern end of the Dead Sea to Tiberias on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This area is a geological phenomon of great significance. The Dead Sea is now about 1340 feet below sea level. The Sea of Galilee is currently more than 700 feet below sea level. I don’t think we have been above sea level all day.

We made a stop at the Dead Sea to get some photos showing the salt accumulation on the rocks along the shore. There are few places where the sea shore is easily accessible. I have seen more salt other times. The area shown in our photo is near En Gedi and is a used often by swimmers.

The Dead Sea is called the Salt Sea in Genesis 14:3 and other places in the Bible.

Along the shore of the Dead Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

Along the shore of the Dead Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

We stopped at En Gedi, a place associated with Davi.

Then David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En Gedi. (1 Samuel 23:29 NET).

En Gedi means ‘spring of the wild goat” or “spring of the kid.” Some associate the Ibex which can be seen in the area with the wild goats.

An Ibex at En Gedi. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

An Ibex at En Gedi. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

We hiked all the way to the highest and longest water fall. This was about a two hour stop. It was tiring but enjoyable.

We stopped at Qumran so Leon could get a few photos and we could pick up some Ahava products.

We continued north in the Jordan Valley. At about the mid-point between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee the air cleared and we could easily see the area on the east side of the Jordan known as Perea in Roman times. We tried to make a few photos but twice Israeli soldiers told us not to make photos in the area.

About 10 miles south of Bethshan (Beit Shean) we stopped to make a few photos of the possible site of Abel-Meholah, the home of the prophet Elisha.

The prophet Elijah was told,

You must anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to take your place as prophet. (1 Kings 19:16 NET)

The village at that site today is called Meholah. No significant archaeological work has been done here.

A suggested site for Abel-Meholah, home of Elisha. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

A suggested site for Abel-Meholah, home of Elisha. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009.

We noticed that the people at Meholah were growing rocks. The hills visible in the distance are in Jordan.

Rocks in the Jordan Valley at Meholah. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Rocks in the Jordan Valley at Meholah. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

We tried to get to Tiberias before sunset to make photos, but the clouds were dark and thick in the later afternoon. Our hotel is literally on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day for photos.