Thursday 24 April 2014

The Valley of Berakhah, and Solomon's Pools

On the way back from Hebron, we stopped at the Valley of Berakhah (2 Chr 20:24-30), where the booty was held after a battle led by King Josaphat. The valley lies between Bethlehem and Hebron and is still very rich and fertile. 

Then we have Bet Zaccariah (1 Mac 6:28-47), where Judas Maccabee and his brothers joined battle against the Seleucids. Here Eleazar the Maccabee brought down the elephant on which the king was supposed to be sitting, but was crushed by the falling elephant. A settlement or kibbutz on the place now commemorates Eleazar. 

From there, taking the road to Bethlehem South, we came to Solomon's Pools, three huge pools built to collect water. See Qohelet 2:5-6: I built pools to irrigate the gardens. And from there it's not far to Hortus Conclusus (Song of Songs 4:12). 

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