The Beauty of the Bible Land

Israel, and the other lands of the Bible, have a unique beauty at any time of the year. The transitional period we call Spring is especially beautiful in Israel. Our recent trip in March illustrates this. Most of the year the Judean wilderness is barren, but after the winter rains it is covered in light green vegetation. This photo shows the Wadi Og a few miles east of the Mount of Olives.

Wadi Og in the Wilderness of Judea.

At En-Gedi (or Engedi) we saw one of the Ibex roaming for a bite of grass here and there. King Saul learned that David was in the wilderness of En-Gedi and tried to capture him there (1 Samuel 24:1).

Wild goats (Hebrew ya’el) are mentioned in a few Old Testament passages (1 Samuel 24:2; Job 39:1; Psalm 104:18; Prov. 5:19). This animal is often identified with the Ibex.

At Engedi we also saw this beautiful scene of a broom tree on the shore of the Dead Sea. The Broom tree is a shrub that grows large enough to provide shade for the traveler as it did for Elijah when he fled from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:4-5).

A small, lonely broom tree on the shores of the Dead Sea at the time of a stormy sunset. The mountains of Moab, in Jordan, are visible across the sea. After water, shade is the most important thing for the traveler in the desert.

In the Spring of the year, after the winter rains, beautiful flowers of the field are to be seen throughout the land. Jesus made reference to these flowers: “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Matthew 6:28-29 ESV)

While we may never be certain about a particular flower the Anemone certainly provides a wonderful illustration. The photo below was made on Mount Gilboa, but I made numerous photos of the flowers of the field throughout the land.

Anemones growing on Mount Gilboa.

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