Daily Archives: May 24, 2010

Beth-shemesh from another vantage point

The weather changes every few days (or hours?) in Israel. One day may be hot and hazy, and another day may be cool and clear. The day our group went to the Sorek Valley and Beth-shemesh the sky was thick with haze. Two days later it was clear. Elizabeth and I went back to try to get a few photos to share with our group. We drove into the village (kibbutz) of Yishi to locate a good vantage point for the photo.

It’s true that there are a lot of rooftops in the foreground, but it still gives us a nice view of the mound.

Beth-shemesh from the west. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Beth-shemesh from the west. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Israelites took the ark of the covenant 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 (Beth Shemesh, Bethshemesh; 1 Samuel 4-6).

Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, and they raised their eyes and saw the ark and were glad to see it. The cart came into the field of Joshua the Beth-shemite and stood there where there was a large stone; and they split the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD. (1 Samuel 6:13-14 NAU)

There is a small grain field between the row of trees and the first buildings of the kibbutz. This makes it easy enough to visualize the biblical event.