Friday 11 October 2013

Ein Gedi by the Dead Sea

The very first thing we saw in Ein Gedi were the ibexes, and now I learn that Gedi comes from gdi which actually means goat or wild goat.

Ein Gedi is mentioned several times in the Bible. In 2 Chronicles 20:2 it is identified with Hazazon-tamar, where the Moabites and Ammonites gathered in order to fight Josaphat. In Genesis 14:7 Hazazon-tamar is mentioned as being an Amorite city, smitten by Chedorlaomer in his war against the cities of the plain. In Joshua 15:62, Ein Gedi is enumerated among the cities of the Tribe of Judah in the desert Betharaba, but Ezekiel 47:10 shows that it was also a fisherman's town. Later, King David hides in the desert of Ein Gedi (1 Samuel 24:1-2) and King Saul seeks him "even upon the most craggy rocks, which are accessible only to wild goats" (1 Samuel 24:3). The Song of Songs (Songs 1:14) speaks of the "vineyards of En Gedi." The words of Ecclesiasticus 24:18, "I was exalted like a palm tree in Cades" (’en aígialoîs), may perhaps be understood of the palm trees of Ein Gedi.







The other wonderful thing about Ein Gedi is of course, the Ein, the spring - or springs - the Nature Reserve folder mentions four of them. My first impression was - the Israelis have done a marvellous job of creating an artificial flow of water. But if you go by the folder, it would appear that the water is natural. Or perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between, if we are to go by the many pipes you see if you look even casually. Whatever - the effect is marvellous, a true oasis in a desert. Naturally a place where the young David thought of hiding from Saul, naturally where Saul would search for him, and then the wonderful story of David sparing Saul....




My pictures are poor this time - what a pity. But there will be more on the cache, I'm sure. 

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