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Dead Sea Region Photo Album


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  • 1. DEAD SEA REGION Israel November 2008
  • 2. We stayed at Moriah Classic that overlooks the southern end of the Dead Sea
  • 3. We loved the Hebrew signs at the hotel
  • 4. The Dead Sea lies 400 m below sea level & is the lowest point of the earth Its high mineral content allows nothing to live in its waters The Dead Sea is drying up for various reasons: evaporation, mining, etc Already the sea has been separated into 2 lakes One can see many dykes that are built for the extraction of minerals contained in the waters The potash contained in its bitter waters is an invaluable fertilizer
  • 5. Its salt concentration is 8 to 10 times higher than ocean water, making it easy for one to float in its waters
  • 6. Surprisingly, its waters are crystal clear
  • 7. But once you step out of the waters, tiny crystals of salt are formed on your bodies
  • 8. The landscape opposite the Dead Sea
  • 9. Located west of the Dead Sea, close to Masada & the caves of Qumran is an oasis—Ein Gedi (“the spring of the kid/goat”) It is known for its caves, springs, & its rich diversity of flora & fauna
  • 10. No wonder Solomon compared his lover to “a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of En- gedi” (Song of Solomon 1:14) Ein Gedi was a prosperous settlement since the 8th century BCE because of a costly perfume produced from a plant grown in its orchards This perfume was reportedly used by Cleopatra herself The secret of its production was so heavily guarded by the townspeople that it is now a lost secret
  • 11. A plant found here is the The dried branches could have Ziziphus Spina-Christi been used to make the crown of thorns that was placed on Jesus’ head
  • 12. Young ibex or wild goats could be seen
  • 13. “The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys” (Ps 104:18); these are the conveys or hyraxes or rock badgers & their closest relative is the elephant
  • 14. The walk to the first waterfall was not an easy one
  • 15. There are many caves here; they must had been a great place for David to play hide & seek with Saul (1 Sam 23:29; 24:1-7)
  • 16. We finally reached the first waterfall There are many springs around the Dead Sea but most of them have a high salt content En Gedi is one of only two fresh water springs located on the western shore of the Dead Sea
  • 17. Our next destination was Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found
  • 18. The Dead Sea Scrolls were first found here in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd boy Scrolls were hidden in jars like these since the time of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome in 70 CE All the Old Testament books except Esther are found from the 11 caves These discoveries are important as they contain the oldest existing copies of Old Testament manuscripts
  • 19. Qumran was the home of the Essences, an ascetic Jewish sect of the Second Temple period; this community was destroyed by the Romans in 68 CE
  • 20. The Refectory or dining room
  • 21. The famous Cave 4 which was discovered in 1952
  • 22. The 15.000 fragments found here were pieced together to form 530 different scrolls The publication of these scrolls was completed only in 2001
  • 23. The Dead Sea Scrolls are now kept in the Shrine of the Book (Jerusalem); the roof resembles the lids of the jars in which the scrolls were stored; when inside, you feel like you are inside a jar
  • 24. The pockets of green grassland among the dry parched land of Qumran is the work of the kibbutzim or collective communities who have cultivated the land, turning the desert into fertile land (Isa 35:1-2)