Monday, June 21, 2010

06/10/10 - Second Day - Jerusalem....

We started our second day in the City of David, the oldest section of old Jerusalem. We saw the ruins that have been recently excavated of the possible site of King David's palace, including other small structures around it that might possibly include Bathsheba's home.

Then on to Hezekiah's Tunnel which was built around 700 BC to divert the water supply from outside the city walls into the city. This was done to avoid enemies from coming and cutting off the water supply.
"When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, intent on making war against Jerusalem, he consulted with his officers and warriors about stopping the flow of the springs outside the city ... for otherwise, they thought, the King of Assyria would come and find water in abundance" (2 Chronicles 32:2-4)

The tunnel were very far below ground, cut out of solid rock, narrow, and about 1/2 a mile long. We walked through it in the water and with only a very small flashlight.

Outside the tunnels we visited the place where the pool of Siloam was. The original steps are still there.

"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing." John 9: 1-7

Here we are overlooking the old part of the city. You can see the wall of the old city and the dome of the rock in the background.
The view in front of us was the "potter's field" or "field of blood". The money given to Judas for betraying Jesus was used to purchase this land and to this day nothing has been built on it. Houses and roads and many buildings are all around it but it is said to be "cursed".

"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. " Matthew 27:3-8

And then on to Caiaphas' house, the high priest where Jesus was taken after his arrest to be questioned. It is also the place where Peter heard the rooster crow 3 times.

"Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death." Matthew 26:57-59

"Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said.
Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth." He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!" After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away."
Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!"
Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly." Matthew 26:69-75

This may be the place where Jesus was held overnight before the day of his crucifixion.

These are the original steps that went to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Next, through the Dung Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem to visit the Western Wall or Wailing Wall. But first a quick lunch of bread and a Coke.

The Western Wall of the temple mount is a very sacred site for the Jewish people. It is the only part of the wall still intact from the temple that was destroyed in 70AD. People from all over the world come here to pray and to leave little pieces of paper with written prayers on them in nooks and crannies of the wall. Men and women are separated, with women praying on one side of the wall and men on the other.

I also left prayers for my family and friends.

We then toured the Temple Tunnels and viewed much more of the temple walls that are now underground. Some of the stones were enormous.

The very large stone with the niches cut out was so big I couldn't photograph it all. The niches were added later but it was one of the original stones in the foundation of the temple mount. We also learned alot about the construction of the original temple.

After the tunnel tour, we walked down part of the street that is now known as the Via Delorosa, the way Jesus walked carrying the cross to his death. That was an emotional walk.

We exited the old city by yet another gate called the Damascus Gate.

To end our day we went to the Holocast Museum. This museum is trying to document as many as they can of the 6,000,000 Jews who were killed. It was an unbelievably sad and overwhelming visit into that horrific part of history.

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