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.
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.
Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus mentions the shepherds “out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.”
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (Luke 2:7-8 ESV)
I have made many photos of shepherds and sheep over the years, but not many at night. However, in 2006 I visited with some shepherds at Heshbon, Jordan, one afternoon. I inquired about what they did with the sheep at night and decided to return about sundown to make some photos. The photo shown here has been lightened some to allow you to see the sheep in the sheepfold.
A shepherd watches his flock by night at Heshbon. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Just to the right of the center of the photo you should be able to see one of the shepherds with his back to the sheepfold. Click on the photo for a larger image suitable for use in teaching.
The Scripture and photo below of a perennial stream from En Prat illustrates perfectly the person described in Psalm 1.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3 ESV)
En Prat where Wadi Kelt begins to flow down past Jericho and to the Jordan Valley. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Even if we did not remember the exact day, all of us have heard that today is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Our family had moved to Florida the previous December. School was not in session. What a great opportunity to take the boys to Cape Canaveral to see the “moon shot.”
The Jenkins family views the launch of Apollo 11, July 16, 1969. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
You may notice what appears to be a scratch on the slide running from the ground up into the water. That is the antenna to an little battery-operated TV. Afterwards we had a great picnic lunch mom had prepared.
A few days later we went out for dinner with Louis and Margie Garrett and Melvin and Shirley Curry, all associated with Florida College. We returned to our house and watched the moon landing on the sort of little TVs that were popular in those days.
This unusual photo of Capernaum was made from the hill above, up toward the Mount of Beatitudes. The photo shows the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee with the Golan Heights visible.
Capernaum became the Galilean center for the ministry of Jesus.
And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, (Matthew 4:13 ESV)
View to the east of Capernaum from above the site. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
This photo was made May 15, 2010. The sky was fairly clear and the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee is visible with perhaps a portion of the Plain of Bethsaida. Those are dried thistles in the foreground of the photo.