This journey is to En Gedi in Israel. We are all excited to walk in the footsteps of King David in the bible and today is the day we do this. Before we get into the bus and head out I want to answer some questions about En Gedi.
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Where Is En Gedi In The Bible?
You can find a reference in the old testament book of Samuel. It was during the time of King Saul and when he was persuing David, who God would make King.
Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi. 1 Samuel 23:29 NKJV
Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 1 Samuel 24:1-2 NKJV
In the wilderness: Beth Arabah, Middin, Secacah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt, and En Gedi: six cities with their villages. Joshua 15:61-62 NKJV
My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blooms In the vineyards of En Gedi. Song of Solomon 1:14 NKJV
Where Is Modern Day En Gedi?
En Gedi also spelled Ein Gedi is the largest oasis in the Judean desert of Israel. It is located near the western shore of the Dead Sea. It is near the Qumran Caves and Masada.
What Tribe Of Israel Was En Gedi Allowed?
En Gedi was allotted to the tribe of Judah.
How Long Has En Gedi Been Inhabited?
The springs of En Gedi have allowed the area to have almost continuous inhabitation since 3500 BC
What Are Other Names For En Gedi?
Some other names for En Gedi are Tel Goren, Tell el-Jurn, Tell Jurn, ‘Ain Jidi, ‘Ein Jidi, ‘En Gedi, En-gedi, Ein Gedi, Eggadi, Engaddi, Engedi, Hazazon Tamar, Hazazon-tamar, Hazazontamar, Hazezontamar
How Far Is En Gedi From The Dead Sea?
It is less than a kilometer from the Dead Sea.
When Did David Take Refuge In Ein Gedi?
David went to Ein Gedi in about 1000 BC.
How Long Is The En Gedi Hike?
The En Gedi Nature Reserve has over 9 different trails available for beginners to more experienced hikers. The trails take between one hour and an entire day to finish
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 Genesis and in (2 Chron 20:2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from a]Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi).), aka Hazezon Tamar.
I read that this is 30 miles South East 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!
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;2-3). 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 into 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 one, 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.
It was so amazing to be in this beautiful place. The actual cave is uncertain at this time, and may have been washed away by floods over the many thousands of years since David stood on this dusty soil. But he was here with his men. King Saul and his soldiers stood here in his sandals. It is an amazing and powerful feeling to stand where history took place. Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity. We were able to see caves all along the trail with ibex climbing the rocks and rock badgers along the water.
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. It was a warm day and the sun was quite warm. The spray from the falls felt so good and helped to cool me off.
The source of the spring is on the side of the mountain about 600 feet above the sea. There is the Nahal David trail and the Nahal Arugot. The Nahal David you walk between the pools on a dry trail. The Nahal Arugot trail you are walking through the water and takes you about 4 km. each way This trail takes you to a beautiful hidden waterfall.
It was such a beautiful hike. I got a little 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
For more information about the En Gedi Nature Reserve:
Visiting The Holy Land – To see the rest of this journey here
- Visiting The Holy Land
- Holy Land Tour: Jerusalem
- Holy Land Tour | Qumran
- Holy Land Tour | En- Gedi (You Are Here)
- Holy Land Tour | Masada
- Holy Land Tour | Israel The City of David
- Holy Land Tour | Israel & The Mount of Olives
- Holy Land Tour | Herodian Street, New Discovery, Old Sewers, and Temple Stones
- Holy Land Tour | The Valley Of Jehoshaphat & The Kidron Valley
- Holy Land Tour | David and Goliath
- Holy Land Tour | YAD- Hashmona -Memorial To The Eight
- Holy Land Tour | The Sea of Galilee
- Holy Land Tour | Capharnaum – Jesus’s Headquarters
- Holy Land Tour | The Seven Springs, The Great Catch and the Fishing Boat
Debbie lives in Southern California with her husband Doug and her amazing children and grandchildren. She is a successful businesswoman and is active in her church and community.