Jericho – 4. View of Jericho’s plain

Joshua 4: 12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them.
13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the LORD to the plains of Jericho for war.
14  That day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.
15  Then the LORD said to Joshua,
16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant law to come up out of the Jordan.”

Reading this makes me appreciate that Jericho is built on land thats completely flat.

All the towns I have seen in the non-coastal parts of Israel are mountainous.

So this is the view from the Mount of Temptation, now myself and Jeremy and Tim moved over to another part of the hill.   Seems to be quite a varied range of fruit being grown in fruit of the mount too.

Given that Jericho is meant to be the oldest city in the world, it makes sense to start building on the most easiest terrain here I guess!

No churches in the sky here, just where you come up if you use the cable car, and a nice restaurants with amazing views, some of the caves here been given some clever uses, one of them is a bird aviary, another one shown closer below, contains things for sale in bazaar.

This was good time to get ice cream 🙂

To the right of these railings and down into yet another cave covered by some beaded string door you go if you want to make a deal for any ornaments and souvienrs.

Back down the hill, going down hill was considerably less work, as I think I lost a litre of sweat at least going up here!!

At the foot of the cliff, I see this highly unusual bush.  Since I have been in Israel, I have got to try various unusual fruits I haven’t seen before, but these green things are something else.   They look vaguely citrussy but they are hollow and squeezable like almost flat balloons.   Can anyone tell me what they are, are they edible?

Next, off to see a much larger tree, without fruit, but some quite exciting background!!

1. Crossing into the oldest city in the world2. Jericho’s town centre3. Church on the cliff4. View of Jericho’s plain –  5. The tree

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Jericho – 3. Church on the cliff

The must see place in Jericho is this:

An ancient church built on the side of the cliffs, not only that, which looks like a spectacular feat of construction of making it staying it up, but also its the likely place where Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days.

We didn’t use the cable car, it looks fun but we had already followed the signs to the place to this car park.  The cable car looks like it runs about a couple of kilometres away.

About half a millisecond after this picture was taken, I need to sharply remove my elbow as I realised this sign had got red hot from being the view of the sun from the 43c or so heat that day!

Me with Jeremy, after climbing up these steps during midday heat of the desert were dripping with sweat.

After a being a bit disappointed when getting to the big black door behind us which was locked, I thought I would knock it just for curiosity, and we were just about to leave when an Arab gentleman asked us to come in.

A Byzantine monastry was built in the 4th century, the present monastery of the Temptation was reconstructed at the end of the 19th Century, in the impressive impossibily standing place you see now.

In the hallway just inside the gate of the church, noticed this plant on the windowsill was covered in a newspaper that is in Greek, unusual, as I see newspapers in French and Russian, as well as Hebrew, Arabic and English of course, but never Greek before, but a reminder of the Greek Orthodox church who currently run this place.

This is like no other church I have ever seen!

Through another door way there was the chapel itself, not a lot of space at all for a congregation, but the painted ceilings were joined perfectly with the natural rock formation of the cliff, not sure how often cracks or other structural problems happen, but its an amazing place!

The man told us we were not allowed to take pictures inside for some reason, so sadly I can’t show the insides of the chapel.

Some scriptures showing this site:-

Luke 4 : 1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.  

3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:

   “‘He will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
   so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

 12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Next, more exciting places up on the cliff!

1. Crossing into the oldest city in the world2. Jericho’s town centre3. Church on the cliff4. View of Jericho’s plain –  5. The tree