Today we visited sites in the Shephelah (lowlands, foothills, Deuteronomy 1:7). We discussed the importance of the Sorek Valley, Beth Shemesh, Timnah, Eshtaol, Zorah. Think of Samson. We noted the important sites associated with the Valley of Elah: Azekah, Khirbet Queiyafa (the Elah Fortress), and Socoh. Think of David and Goliath.
At Socoh (1 Samuel 17:1) we had one of those nice moments on tour when something unexpected comes along. We saw two shepherds bringing their sheep and goats to water. The photo below is one of several that I made.
I am reminded of the teaching of Jesus about the importance of the shepherd.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-1 NET)
We also made stops at Lachish and Gath before dinner along the Mediterranean Sea at Joppa, and then heading for the airport.
Our group is scheduled to depart for the USA shortly after midnight. Six tour members are staying over for varying length to pursue additional visits throughout the area.
Thank you for following the blog these past two weeks. I have written less than usual due to the demands of the tour, and this will continue for another week as I spend time in additional study here. Stay with me.