Day two, stop two
Our next stop was a place that David knew like the back of his hand – En-Gedi. David hid in the caves of En Gedi and throughout the Judean wilderness for those long seven years that King Saul sought to take his life. King Saul, so fleshly, so insecure, so sad.
En-Gedi in Hebrew means “fountain or spring of the wild goat”. It was also known as the city of palm trees in Gen 14:7; 2 , 2 Chron 20:2, aka Hazezon Tamar. I read this is 30 miles SE of Jerusalem. This sounds more accurate than the 13 miles I mentioned for Qumran.
This area is also full of rocks and caves but is a fertile place and more suitable for refuge due to a spring that flows from waterfalls off the mountain.
The day was warm so we gathered with Pastor Jack under some large trees just off the path leading to the springs and had our first Bible Study in Israel!
1 Samuel 23 and 24. It was and is so emotional to know you are not only in the land where these great events happened and that I’ve read about so many times, but actually walking where they walked!
I purchased these tiny travel Bibles for Eric and me and believe me the writing is tiny too. I was desperately trying to read my mini Bible, take notes and wipe my eyes and nose at the same time from being weepy. I was a mess as Eric frequently liked to remind me ?
Pastor Jack suggested we pick up a small amount of dirt and rub it into our Bible’s actual location. So, add picking up dirt and trying to rub it on the pages in addition to everything else – again, a mess!
Our Bible study is about the time when King Saul came to this place, to En-Gedi to find David, after he was told that is where he and his men were hiding. King Saul took 3000 “chosen” men from all of Israel and went to seek him on the Rocks of the Wild Goats (1Sam 24;2). As it happened, King Saul had to relieve himself. He chose the exact cave to do his business where David and his men were hiding.
David had the perfect opportunity to kill his enemy and his men encouraged him to do so. “Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day which the Lord said to you, “Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.” (1 Samuel 24:4).
David instead went in the dark cave and stealthily cut off a piece of Saul’s robe which he had probably laid aside. David returned to his men convicted that he should not kill the King. The King was the Lord’s anointed, so he didn’t. He restrained his men and instead called out to Saul once he was with his men again and showed him how close he had been to death. Saul told David that he now knew David would be king and asked him to promise not to destroy his family – or name.
The actual cave is uncertain and may have been washed away by floods, but we saw others along with goats and rock badgers.
Holy Land Tour | En- Gedi Israel
We had the choice of hiking to one of two falls. Eric and I chose the higher more challenging trail. It was slippery and narrow in spots, steep in others.
The source of the spring is on the side of the mountain about 600 feet above the sea.
I got winded a couple of times but was determined to get there and I did.
I’m also determined to start working out again when I get home!
It was beautiful and refreshing