Daily Archives: October 12, 2010

The watershed ridge

Those who study Bible geography learn about the extension of the Lebanon Mountains that runs south through Upper Galilee, Lower Galilee, the mountains of Samaria, and the mountains of Judea. Every mountain ridge has a right side and a left side. The ridge of the central mountain route in Israel provides the watershed to the east and the west.

St. Andrew’s (Scottish) Church sits on the watershed ridge in Jerusalem. When you travel from the west side of the old city of Jerusalem crossing the Hinnom Valley on the way south to Bethlehem and Hebron, you pass the watershed ridge and St. Andrew’s Church on your right. The Menachem Begin Heritage Center Museum and the Church sit up above the road and are lost to view as you watch the traffic.

This view, showing the east side of the watershed ridge, looks north to the Church.

The watershed ridge in Jerusalem. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The watershed ridge in Jerusalem. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

St. Andrew’s Church has an interesting history which is described briefly.

St Andrew’s Church, Jerusalem, was built as a memorial to the Scottish soldiers who were killed fighting the Turkish Army during World War I, bringing to an end Ottoman rule over Palestine. It is a congregation of the Church of Scotland. (Wikipedia)

A cornerstone on the Church indicates that the stone was laid on May 7, 1927, by Field Marshal the Viscount Allenby in commemoration of the liberation of Jerusalem on December 9, 1917. We have a photo of the liberation here. Another plaque in the Church indicates that King Robert Bruce wished for his heart to be buried here.

Before his death Bruce required Sir James Douglas to carry his heart to Jerusalem, in redemption of his unfulfilled vow to visit the Holy City. Accordingly Sir James set out, bearing with him the embalmed heart. On his way he fell fighting the Moors in Spain. The heart was recovered and found its resting-place at Melrose, while the body rests at Dunfermline, Scotland. (Vilnay, Israel Guide 1978, 87)

The barren hill on which the Church is built is called Bible Hill.

Sign marking Bible Hill, the watershed ridge in Jerusalem. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Sign marking Bible Hill, the watershed ridge in Jerusalem. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This hill marks a portion of the boundary of the biblical tribe of Judah. Notice the reference to “the top of the mountain.”

Then the boundary goes up by the Valley of the Son of Hinnom at the southern shoulder of the Jebusite (that is, Jerusalem). And the boundary goes up to the top of the mountain that lies over against the Valley of Hinnom, on the west, at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim. (Joshua 15:8 ESV)

In another post we hope to show you more photos of the watershed ridge and the view on each side of it from this same location. Meanwhile, take a look at several photos of the Church, and a satellite view of the area at Bible Walks.