Daily Archives: October 25, 2012

The early rain damages Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve

According to The Jerusalem Post’s Sharon Udasin, heavy rains caused damage to the Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve located in the Arabah (Arava) north of Eilat.

The heavy rains that drenched the Eilat mountains and southern Arava region on Sunday night led to the flooding of the Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) said on Monday.

Over the course of the night, park workers evacuated animals that were in danger of drowning, and others worked all night to rebuild fences that had collapsed during the flood.

By Tuesday, the nature reserve will be open as usual to visitors, an INPA statement said.

Despite the damage caused to the nature reserve, the rains brought with them “many blessings” as they watered the acacia trees – which are “a source of life in the desert” – and created a “rare, breathtaking site,” according to the INPA.

“The desert is now beautiful and gleaming, and this is the best time to hike in it and to enjoy the rich and spectacular landscape it has to offer,” said Doron Nissim, the Eilat district manager at the INPA.

More information about the weather expectations for this year is available here.

The photo below shows the Arabian Oryx, thought to be the reem of the Hebrew Bible. English versions typically translate this word with “wild ox” (Numbers 23:22; 24:8; Deuteronomy 33:17, et al. The King James Version uses the word unicorn.

Arabian Oryx at Hai-Bar Nature Reserve. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Arabian Oryx at Hai-Bar Nature Reserve. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

If one travels in the desert during the summer months he will see a dry, desolate bad land with only an isolated acacia or tamarisk tree or a shrub where the last water of the winter rain flowed. In the winter it can be different. Israel has two dominant seasons: winter and summer. The summer is dry and the winter is wet. The early rains begin about mid-October and continue till the late rains of early April. See Deuteronomy 11:14; Psalm 84:6; Joel 2:23; James 5:7.

 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,  he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.  And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. (Deuteronomy 11:13-15 ESV)

You might enjoy reading our earlier post about “Rivers in the Desert” here.

HT: Todd Bolen, Bible Places Blog. This Wednesday Roundup is especially full of helpful information.