Category Archives: Old Testament

Three more Photo Companion volumes

The BiblePlaces Newsletter announces today the availability of three more volumes in the Photo Companion to the Bible series. Go there for detailed info on the volumes on Joshua, Judges, and Romans. A free chapter from each volume is available for download.

Photo Companion of Joshua

The Photo Companion volume of Joshua.

This is an impressive project and I am surprised at the speed with which these volumes are being produced. These make 11 books of the Bible already covered.

The Joshua volume has 3,100 slides with information about each of the slides. I believe there is at least one slide for each verse in the book.  Joshua sells for $99, Judges for $99, and Romans for $69. This weekend all three volumes are on sale for $99. Do you have any idea how much time and money it would cost you to visit the Bible World, make all of these photos, be able to write accurate information about each photo, put them into PowerPoint presentations – a total of  7,500 slides? Well, it did take years and years.

Don’t let this special pass you by. Order this weekend and save. You can take a look at a few samples before you order, and Todd Bolen and BiblePlaces always want you to be satisfied with your purchase.

One warning I have not seen in any of the reviews that I have read is that you should not think you will use all of these photos in your class. I would select those that best aid my presentation and discussion of the biblical text.

Complete information is available on the Bible Places Newsletter here.

Ferrell’s Favorite Foto # 33 – Cave of Adullam

In 2011 Leon Mauldin and I make arrangements to visit Tel Adullam and the Cave of Adullam. I had gathered some information from Prof. Carl Rasmussen and Gordan Franz about locating the site. We secured the services of a guide from the small town of Aderet, a moshav on the north side of Adullam. She took us to the site in a four-wheel drive vehicle and explained what we were seeing.

Tel Adullam is near the Valley of Elah where David had met and defeated Goliath (1 Samuel 17).

View from Tel Adullam. Photo: ferrelljenkins.blog.

Daphna, our guide, and Leon look east from Tel Adullam. Notice the central mountain range in the distance. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Once we reached the forested mound we enjoyed a wonderful view to the east, and south. Our guide, Daphna, inquired first about our interest in the site. How did we even know about the site, she wondered. She is a Sabre, a native-born Israeli, who lives at Aderet.

There is a large cave at Adullam. Is it the cave where David stayed while fleeing from Saul? Can’t say, but if it was not this one it had to be another one near by. The next photo was made from inside the cave.

Inside the Cave of Adullam. Photo: ferrelljenkins.blog.

Inside the Cave of Adullam where David and his men stayed while fleeing from Saul. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Adullam is significant in several biblical accounts. Here are a few.

Judah stayed with an Adullamite man named Hirah. He married the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua.

At that time Judah left his brothers and stayed with an Adullamite man named Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. Judah acquired her as a wife and had marital relations with her. (Genesis 38:1-2 NET)

The episode of Onan and his failure to fulfill his responsibility to bring up children to his deceased brother (the Levirate marriage; Genesis 38:3-10).

Joshua defeated the king of Adullam during the Conquest (Joshua 12:15), and became one of the Shephelah (lowland or hill country) cities of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:35).

The cave of Adullam is associated with David. When he left Gath he went to Adullam before sending his parents to Moab for safety.

So David left there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of his father’s family learned about it, they went down there to him. (1 Samuel 22:1 NET)

In fact, David spent much time at Adullam. I suggest you read the entire account in 2 Samuel 23:13ff.

When the prophet Micah warned Judah about the coming Assyrian invasion he said,

…the leaders of Israel shall flee to Adullam (Micah 1:15 NET)

Just as David did about three centuries earlier.

One more point. Jesus was a descendant of David and Judah, both of whom had an association with Adullam (Revelation 5:5).

What a wonderful experience.

Note: if you wish to locate the Adullam cave on Google Earth Pro, search for Aderet, Israel, and then look for the cave. Or use these coordinates: 31°39’02.33 N, 35°00’08.53 E.

Which photo is today’s favorite? Take your pick.

Ferrell’s Favorite Foto # 31 – “midnight train to Ur”

In the early years of my tours I gradually added the places I wanted to go in the Bible world that I thought were important in Bible study. By the third tour in 1970 I included Iraq. Our group took a flight from Beirut, Lebanon, to Baghdad, Iraq, for a few days in the country. The visit concentrated on seeing the ancient sites of Ur, Babylon and Nineveh.

We had a view of one of the branches or canals of the Euphrates at Babylon. Perhaps my first certain view of the famous river was at Nasiriyah in southern Iraq.

How did we move around in the historic area? From Baghdad on the Tigris river we traveled by bus to Hillah for a visit of the ruins of ancient Babylon long before Saddam Hussein made an effort to rebuilt the city. After the visit we had dinner and then waited until about 10 p.m. to take the night train to Ur Junction near Nasiriyah. There our sleeper car was sidetracked and we had the day to visit the site suggested by Sir Leonard Wooley as Ur of Chaldeans. That identification was generally accepted at the time, but more recently some have argued that biblical Ur should be identified with Urfa, or the general area, in northern Mesopotamia now in modern Turkey.

When we returned from visiting Ur we had some time along the Euphrates River before our train to Baghdad came. I recall this view of the Euphrates at dusk to be one of my best memories of the trip.

This photo was made at dusk along the Euphrates at Nasiriyah, Iraq, May 13, 1970. The men are pulling a boat. Slide by Ferrell Jenkins. (Originally I used the word Nile. Maybe I was thinking of the other end of the Fertile Crescent. Thanks to my traveling buddy Leon for noting this mistake. I definitely need a good secretary.)

When the Basra-Baghdad train arrived our sleeper car was picked up and we were in Baghdad by morning.

This is our sleeper car waiting at Nasiriyah for our train to Baghdad. My 11-year-old son, Ferrell Jr., is standing at the left of the photo. This photo was taken May 13, 1970.

One of the ladies in our group, Marilyn Hardage,  was known as an outstanding student and teacher. She was making copious notes as we had already visited Rome, Athens, Cairo, Lebanon, and Damascus. Perhaps as an oversight her notebook was left on the train. Do you suppose someday Marilyn’s notebook will be discovered?

Our group visited Ctesiphon near the Tigris River at Baghdad. In this photo some of the tours members are seen in a Bedouin or tribal tent. Marilyn is the lady in black and white. George, our local guide, is enjoying the hookah pipe. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins May 12, 1970.

Ferrell’s Favorite Foto # 30 – the cedars of Lebanon

We have written several posts about the cedars of Lebanon which you may find by putting the word cedar in the search box. Possibly the best article to begin with is here.

I ran across this photo made in 2002. It shows part of the clump of famous trees at Besharre, Lebanon, with a view of the mountain still partially covered with snow in May.

The Cedars of Lebanon. ferrelljenkins.blog.

Besharre, Lebanon. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Some photos are favorites because of the events surrounding the taking of the photo. Only twice have I been able to see the cedars. Once was in 1967 when my wife and I were joined by Louis and Margie Garrett and Joe Corley on a free half day to visit the area. As we strolled though the old trees we enjoyed some sun, then a sudden shower. A shop keeper opened and allowed us to warm up in his place. He even prepared some meat (something like spam I recall) wrapped in pita bread, Under the circumstance it was really good. This was not an easy trip to forget.

David McClister and I made a personal trip to the area May 8, 2002 and this slide is from that trip.

This is one of the places I would like to revisit.

The photo is sized for use in PPT for teaching purposes.

David leaves 200 men at the Brook Besor

In addition to the tours I led between 1967 and 2016 I have made numerous personal study trips with a variety of friends beginning as early as 1984. The largest number of those trips have been made with Leon Mauldin. On these trips we visit places that are difficult to reach by bus or take an unusual amount of time to reach — too time consuming for a group looking to see all they can in a typical 10-12 day tour.

In September, 2011, Leon and I spent some time in the south of Israel. One of the fascinating places we visited was the Brook Besor. Israelis call it Nahal Besor. Various English versions of the Bible use the terms Brook, brook or Wadi to describe the stream. For anyone who might wish to visit the area I will explain how we got there.

Using the modern maps at your disposal locate Beersheba (Be’er Sheva), then take highway 25 NW to highway 241 and turn left. Our first photo was made on the north side of highway 241 after we crossed the Besor.

Brook Besor on the north side of highway 241. Photo: ferrelljenkins.blog.

The Brook Besor on the north side of highway 241. Notice the typical dry terrain of the Negev in the background. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Water is flowing somewhere among these reeds and during the winter rains we may be sure that the water is visible. Notice the dry terrain in the distance.

A short distance from the location of this photo, on the south side of the highway we saw this impressive mound. It is easy to reach, at least in dry weather, using the road across the fields.

Tel Sharuhen on the banks of Nahal Besor. ferrelljenkins.blog.

Tel Sharuhen on the banks of Nahal Besor. Most of the reeds like those we have shown in the photo above are on the opposite side of the tel. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Arab name for this archaeological mound is Tell el-Farah (South) to distinguish it from Tell el-Farah (North), the site of biblical Tirza near Shechem (1 Kings 15:33).

The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land (1990) entry begins with this description of the Tell el-Farah (South).

The site is some 14 miles south of Gaza and 16 miles west of Beer-Sheba, near the ancient Via Maris (Roads) connecting Egypt and Mesopotamia. W.M.F. Petrie identified Tell el-Farah with Beth-Pelet (Josh. 15:27; Authorized Version: ‘Beth-Palet’), but W.F. Albright’s identification with Sharuhen (Josh. 19:6) is now accepted by most scholars. Apart from the biblical reference, Sharuhen appears three times in Egyptian sources of the New Empire: in the description of the Hyksos expulsion from Egypt, when Amosi besieged the Hyksos for three years at Sharuhen; in the records of the first campaign of Tuthmosis III; and in those of the campaign of Pharaoh Sheshonq.

Sharuhen is mentioned only once in the Bible as a city of the tribe of Simeon (Joshua 19:1-8; see especially verse 6).

This area looks rather hidden from society, but it was on two major international highways in biblical times.

Leon and I were looking for the possible site where David left 200 men who were too exhausted to make the trek to chase those who had burned Ziklag and taken several captives including two wives of David (1 Samuel 30; see especially verses 9, 10, and 21). I can easily envision this area being the place of the crossing of the Besor.

Ferrell Jenkins at Tel Sharuhen. ferrelljenkins.blog.

Brook Besor on the north side of Tel Sharuhen. This picture including Ferrell Jenkins was apparently made by Leon Mauldin. You have a nice view of the Brook Besor. Photo: ferrelljenkins.blog.

From the south side of the tel we took the steps (lower left corner of the photo) to the top.

Approach to Tel Shuarhen from the south. View of Brook Besor. Photo ferrelljenkins.blog.

Approach to Tel Sharuhen from the south. View of Brook Besor. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The following signs in Hebrew and English identify the site as Tel Sharuhen.

Sign identifying Tel Sharuhen. Photo: ferrelljenkins.blog.

A nice sign identifying the tel as Tel Sharuhen. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

I was delighted when I saw these signs were  new.

Sign identifying Tel Sharuhen. Photo: ferrelljenkins.blog.

Sign in Hebrew and English identifying the mound as Tel Sharuhen. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

There are also signs at the site identifying Tel Sharuhen as part of the ANZAC Trail. This trail was made famous in 1917 when a light horse brigade of mostly Australian and New Zealand aboriginals defeated the Germans in the region.

The Anzac Trail of 1917. Tel Sharuhen is marked as number 6.

For those with further interest in the historic battle of 1917 I suggest two links. This link in the Times of Israel tells about the centennial retracing the route of the battle by descendants of the Aboriginal ANZAC soldiers in 2017.

More general information about the ANZAC Trail, including directions and a PDF of the map above, may be read here.

The seven photos in this post are sized suitable for use in a PowerPoint presentation for teaching.

Ferrell’s Favorite Foto # 28 – Moses as Shepherd

Shepherds were highly significant in the ancient near eastern culture. It is no wonder that many of the outstanding characters of the Old Testament are called shepherds.

The LORD frequently chose shepherds to be the leaders of His people. Consider David (Psalm 78:70-72) and Moses (Exodus 3:1) as examples. Moses understood that there should be someone to lead Israel after his death. He made a recommendation to the LORD, saying,

Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” (Numbers 27:16-17 ESV)

The LORD chose Joshua the son of Nun to fill that role.

Previously I have mentioned that Leon Mauldin and I spent a week visiting biblical and other historical sites in Jordan in 2018. One day as we were returning to our hotel from our travel we went past Mount Nebo, a site we had visited a day or two earlier. A short distance from Mount Nebo, the place from which Moses viewed the promised land, we came upon an impressive scene. There was a shepherd standing near the road while his sheep were eating whatever available grass there was on the rocky hillside. Leon was driving. I said, “Slow down; there’s Moses.” Obviously I knew better but you can have a look for yourself.

A shepherd watches his sheep near Mount Nebo in Jordan. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

One nice thing about traveling in the Middle East today is that most photos do not have to be staged. You are welcome to use this image in your teaching if you wish. It is sized to fit a PowerPoint presentation.

Ferrell’s Favorite Foto # 27 – Living in Tents

When I see tents in the Middle East I do not think of going camping. I think of the biblical patriarchs who moved about from place to place taking their tents with them.

Sheperd's tent near Heshbon, Jordan. ferrelljenkins.blog.

A shepherd’s tent near Heshbon, Jordan, at dusk. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The book of Genesis recounts the movement of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as they traveled in Mesopotamia and the Levant. Notice these references:

From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb. (Genesis 12:8-9 ESV)

The Book of Hebrews recounts events in the life of those who lived by faith.

By faith he [Abraham] went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:9-10 ESV)

Our photo above was made at dusk when the shepherds were gathering their sheep into the sheepfold. I noticed this nicely decorated tent nearby. I see the lady of the tent sitting on the ground. There is a little child dressed in red partially visible in the tent. Notice to the right of the woman there is a screen covering for the bed. Luxury accommodations compared to some.

While viewing this photo read Genesis 18, the account of the announcement that Sarah would have a child, and see if it doesn’t become more real to you.