Our theme today is the wilderness and what it signified to the ancient Israelites. We began our day at Masada, Herod the Great’s magnificent fortress palace in the desert, and the last stand of the Zealots, a Jewish revolutionary group at the time of Jesus. From Masada we drove north to the beautiful subtropical oasis of Ein Gedi, where David hid from Saul. We also discussed the temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness. We visited Qumran, likely the home of the Essenes, a First Century Jewish sect which may have influenced early Christianity, and the site of the most exciting archaeological discovery ever made in Israel – the Dead Sea Scrolls. We finished our afternoon by enjoying a float in the therapeutic mineral rich waters of the Dead Sea. At the end of the day we made the final ascent to Jerusalem – the City of the Great King.

Sybil and Mark in good humour as usual

Isabel, Maggie, Mark, Carolyn and Collin

Toni and Stew

Cathy, Brenda, Steve and Brian on Masada

From Masada we drove north to the beautiful subtropical oasis of Ein Gedi, where David hid from Saul.

Qumran – where Dead Sea Scrolls we’re discovered

Dead Sea Scroll

Jerusalem!