Conditions for photography today were about the best I have seen. We had a busy day but have run out of time to write very much. We have one more day before this wonderful study and research opportunity comes to an end.
This morning we stopped in the Judean Hills, about nine miles west of Jerusalem, at the Arab town of Abu Ghosh. This is the biblical site of Kiriath-jearim (or Kiriath Jearim).
Kiriath-jearim’s highest honor is in the association with the ark of the covenant. The Israelites took the ark from the tabernacle at Shiloh to the battle field at Ebenezer when they were fighting with the Philistines (1 Samuel 4). The ark was captured by the Philistines and taken to Ashdod, then to Gath, and finally to Ekron before they decided to get rid of it. The ark was returned to Beth-shemesh (1 Samuel 4-6).
The men of Beth-shemesh sent messengers to the residents of Kiriath-jearim asking them to come and take the ark to their town. The ark was brought into the house of Abinadad on the hill. His son, Eleazar, was consecrated by the men of the city to keep the ark of the LORD. The ark remained there for many years until David had it brought to Jerusalem (1 Samuel 6:21-7:2; 2 Samuel 6).
Our photograph shows the hill of Kiriath-jearim. Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant Church was built in 1911 on the ruins of a fifth century Byzantine church.